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Saudi Gazette, Saturday, February 25, 2017



Indian budget lauded

Saudi Gazette report


NDIAN Consul General

Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh,

while inaugurating the

recent session on Indian

Budget 2017-Advantage

Investment at the consulate

premises, highlighted the advan-

tages to Foreign Direct Investors

and the extension of favorable tax

to foreign investors by three more

years until June 2020 to a elite au-

dience that had Saudis and Indians.

Saudi Indian Business Network

(SIBN) organized the event in as-

sociation with Consulate General

of India and Institute of Chartered

Accountants, Jeddah Chapter. CA

Vijay Soni, treasurer of SIBN and

president IMA, Jeddah, arranged

vibrant speakers from India and a

CA panel from Jeddah for the pre-

sentations and panel discussion.

Sheikh, while stressing the

fact that the budget’s thrust was on

investments in India, separated the

wheat from the chaff with his suc-

cinct assessment on the budget’s

implication on investments. In ad-

dition to the earlier reliefs, Sheikh

emphasized on the abolition of

FIPB, which is good news for

foreign Investors. He commended

that the budget is growth oriented

and historical in many ways.

“This is the first time that

the budget has been unified and

brought forward to Feb. 1 so that

schemes can be implemented be-

fore the onset of the monsoon. The

very fact that there were two sets

of budgets — the railways before

the general budget, and have been

unified in this exercise provides

for ample time for the government

to act,” Sheikh said in his address,

while deferring to the experts on

the nitty-gritty of the budget.

“As for the specifics of the

budget the experts are here to

highlight for us various areas of

investment and relief offered. With

the increase in foreign reserves,

the finance minister has moved his

focus on investments with India

presenting a bright scope in the

world with a growing economy

and supports its business entities,

especially with the cut from 30 %

to 20 % in tax rates for SMEs in

thus budget being a welcoming

aspect,” Sheikh added.

“We need to share this with

our Saudi friends, and showing

them the opportunities to invest in

this sector would be a great thing.

India presents a positive climate

for investments… my consular and

commercial sections are always

open to assist Saudi investors and

there is always the SIBN team who

can help in the areas of invest-

ments,” Sheikh said.

“The government has opened

up avenues to make investments

easy in India and this budget has

enabled a rate revision that is help-

ful for businesses. The thrust of

the government is to make it more

transparent, to show to the world

that you can invest in India and the

investors would benefit from it,

Sheikh added.

The budget session was at-

tended by Mohammed Shahid

Alam (deputy consul general and

consul Haj), Anand Kumar (consul

consular), Moin Akthar (consul

community welfare & admin),

SIBN/JCICAI members and Sau-

dis and Indians from many walks

of life.

There were four presentations,

one by local speaker and three

from overseas Indian speakers

through video conferencing. This

was followed by a panel discussion

headed by Sheikh and other panel

members CA Sreekanth A.S., CA

Omar Saraswala, Dr. Ravish Tatli,

Rahul Goswami (legal consul-

tant), Anindya. Ibrahim Al Asiri

(chairman-Muwazy). Soni moder-

ated the session,

Soni in his opening remarks

stressed on the challenges of the

year 2016 — a year of financial

happenings. “It necessitated

realignment in strategies for future

regional and financial outlook.

Like Vision 2030, Indian govern-

ment has been a front runner to

address current challenges and

opportunities for global investors

focused to transparency and digital

era of reforms,” Soni said, adding,

“Indian budget-2017 highlights

new domain of opportunities for

investors looking East with higher

and safe returns.”

Dr. Mohammed Nurul Hasan

(consul commerce) welcomed

the guests. He also briefed all on

SIBN and the commercial section’s

efforts in promoting bilateral trade

between Saudi Arabia and India.

CA Sreekanth A.S. made a

brief presentation about the budget

and explained the three major

reforms of the budget, the ten

themes of budget and taxation. He

explained, “Deemed income will

be calculated at the rate of 6% of

turnover for small business having

turnover of up to Rs.20 million in

place of 8% for non-cash transac-

tions. It is one of incentive for

going digital,” he said.

CA Nilesh Vikamsey, vice

president ICAI, CAAmarjit Cho-

pra – past president ICAI and CA

Sanjay Jhanwar, managing partner

of Chir Amrit Legal LLP, spoke

to the audience through video


Vikamsey was elected

president the very next day of

this event. He shed light on the

Institute of Chartered Accountants

of India, calling it as one of largest,

prestigious accounting body in the

world having 800,000 members

and students.

“CA is one of the most re-

garded qualification in the world of

finance and accounting,” Vikamsey

said in his introductory address

while appreciating and thanking

Sheikh for organizing the event in

coordination with SIBN, JCICAI

and IMA. He also recognized Soni

and other CA colleagues’ effort in

bringing the knowledge pool to

Saudi Arabia. “India is already a

front runner on various taxations

reform and rule simplification;

GST will be a game changer in

India while consolidating various

indirect taxes making it easy for

business community,” he added.

“Demonetization is one of the

courageous decision and there is

no parallel incidence of this mag-

nitude anywhere in the world for

this is a key step towards digital

economy; the railways are to move

away from cash accounting to

accrual accounting — bringing

accountability and transparency

and insolvency laws has been

passed by the government helping

companies to decide on the exit

plan and ease of doing business,”

Vikamsey said.

CAAmarjit Chopra com-

mended the wonderful job being

done by the CA fraternity and

underlined the ICAI’s role in na-

tion building — as an independent

accounting body — since 1949.

He said, “The current budget has

given high importance to agricul-

ture, infrastructure, real estate, and

creation of employment while the

holding period for long term capi-

tal gain cut from 36 months to 24

months will help the assesses.”

“The budget focuses on issues

like corruption, black money etc.,

and is trying to address the NPA’s

(non-performing assets) of banks

both in private and public sectors

through additional capital injunc-

tion and raising the provision in

the banks books against NPA from

7.5% to 8.5%,” he said, adding,

CA Nilesh Vikamsay

CA Omar Saraswala

CA Sanjay Jhanwar

CA Amarjit Chopra

Vijay Soni, SIBN treasurer and IMA Jeddah president, at the

budget session.

Chief Guest Indian Consul General Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh making

his address at the Indian Budget 2017-Advantage Investment meet at

the consulate premises. — Photos by Abdul Rahman Baig

CA Sreekanth

Ibrahim Ali Asiri

“The amount being introduced is

too less compared to the actual

requirement. Post demonetization,

the banks are flooded with deposits

hence credit offtake needs to be in-

creased to stimulate further growth

to the economy.”

“The move away from plan and

non-plan expenditure in the budget

to revenue and capital expendi-

ture will for the first time help

in ascertaining the asset creation

by the government, which has

not happened since 1947 and this

will bring more transparency and

accountability and the reduction

of corporate tax by 5% will be ben-

eficial to majority of companies,”

Chopra said.

CA Sanjay Jhanwar explained

to the audience the relevant tax and

investment advantage policies for

Saudi Arabia. He highlighted the

economic disparity, which showed

only negligible percentage of popu-

lation filing and paying income

tax while other economic indica-

tors like owning of cars, air travel

etc., showed that large parts of the

population are out of the ambit of

Income tax.

“Demonetization to some ex-

tent has enabled the government to

increase the tax base and bring the

informal economy into the formal

fold proving beneficial to the coun-

try as it enhances the tax base and

also helps foreign investors as they

know the strength of the economy,”

he said.

His take on the changes brought

about in cash transactions beyond 3

lakhs, which attracts equal amount

of penalty, was that it was a push

towards digital economy. He also

spoke about fiscal management,

wherein the fiscal deficit over the

years is showing a declining trend,

and that’s a good sign.

He took the audience through

various aspects of the economy

through a series of some graphs

showing that the GDP growth

would be solid and that the econ-

omy will recover in this year post

demonetization. He said, “Inflation

is under control, tax collection is

expected to rise from Rs.7.42 lakh

crores in 2012-13 to Rs.10.54 in

17-18 though there have been tax

rate cuts.”

“Because of the double taxation

avoidance agreement between India

and KSA, the Kingdom’s resident

will get favorable tax treatment on

the Interest/Royalty income at the

special rate of 10%. Further, the tax

paid in India by Saudi companies /

investors can be offset under zakat

and income tax of Saudi Arabia and

vice-versa,” added Jhanwar.

A panel discussion, moderated

by Soni was held. The panel in-

cluded Sheikh, Al Asiri, Saraswala,

Dr. Ravish, Sreekanth, Goswami

and Anindya in Jeddah and Jhanwar

from India.

The questions related to the

opportunities for foreign direct

investment in infrastructure due to

increased allocation to this sector

with a major allocation to transpor-

tation sector was discussed. This in

turn would boost additional invest-

ment in tourism and hotel industry,

which are interrelated.

Saraswala pointed out opportu-

nities for Indian accounting profes-

sional/firms in KSA as they are

ahead of cycle in implementation of

IFRS, VAT and GST regulations.

Jhanwar explained the changes

in housing sector and real estate

and how it would benefit the

investors wherein the tax liability

will reduce and give impetus to

real estate sector. Applicability of

deemed rental income for builders

will force players to be efficient

and liquidate unsold inventory.

To OCI Dr. Abdul Raheem

question on putting charitable

laboratories in India, the panel

said, “Donations for charitable

laboratories can be routed through

eligible trusts compliant with

FEMA regulations.”

Al Asiri asked, “How is India

an attractive investment destina-

tion for Saudi businessmen” with

few key takeaways from Anindya

and other panelist: “Sheer size of

the market GDP is close to $2.2

trillion as against $0.7 trillion of

KSA. Further on PPP parameter

India is the 3rd largest after US

and China. The growth of Indian

economy at 6.5-7% is signifi-

cantly higher than other countries.

Stability and consistency in fiscal

and monetary policies that helps

investor confidence; judiciary

is strong – you can take anyone

including the government to court

for justice; socio political stability

and no major civil upheaval lead-

ing to a stable business environ-


On the current real estate

situation, the pricing offers great

opportunities in real estate as

the growing population of 1.25

billion Indians are looking for

more avenue of recreation, hotels

and tourism apart from affordable

housing and the growing need for

healthcare industry.

Krish Jangal, IT sectorial head

of SIBN, was instrumental in con-

necting the overseas speakers from

India through videoconference

technology. Ajay Bhatt provided


Deputy Consul General Alam

congratulated the SIBN team

on successfully organizing the

program and added, “SIBN is

blessed with visionary leader-

ship of the consul general and the

versatile knowledge prowess of its


Consul Consular Kumar said,

“SIBN has been working hard to

enhance trade relations between

the two countries and this event

was aimed to motivate people to

do more to facilitate greater bilat-

eral investment opportunities.”

The Q&A session revealed

good information about opportu-

nities in India from CA Nadeem

Bhamla, CA Huzefa, Noman

Abdul Majeed, Dr. Abdul Raheem

Moulana, Adil Sanai, and Shariq


SIBN General Secretary Mir

Gazanfar Ali Zaki delivered vote

of thanks. “SIBN will continue

to organize more informative and

productive events in future for

Saudi and Indian business commu-

nity,” he said, adding, “Programs

on renewable energy at the end

of this month and food festival

of India and the Siasat Islamic

Calligraphy event in the month of


Mohammed Viquar Ahmed

and Esa Bin Ayaz Shabibi, SIBN

event management team, was well

supported by Amjad Shareef and

Bobby Mannat from Indian Con-

sulate in organizing this program.

Huawei in global top three for smartphone market share


CCORDING to data

released by leading analyst

firms Strategy Analyt-

ics and Counterpoints Research,

Huawei Consumer Business Group

(CBG) became the third largest

smartphone manufacturer by mar-

ket share, commanding 10% of the

total global market. Meanwhile,

total worldwide smartphone ship-

ments grew by 2.3% year-on-year

in 2016, totaling 1.47 billion units.

The Chinese market contributed a

large part of this total figure, with

467 million mobile phones shipped

for the year. Of the top five ven-

dors, Samsung, Apple, Huawei,

OPPO, and vivo, the three Chinese

brands together account for almost

20% of the global market share.

Huawei ranked third overall,

with nearly 10% market share,

maintaining steady growth despite

a weaker global market. In total,

Huawei shipped 139.3 million

units in 2016, up 30.2% on 2015.

Despite the softening of

the global smartphone market,

Huawei’s annual growth in ship-

ments shows strong momentum

and continues to perform above

the industry average. Shipments

grew from 75 million in 2014 to

108 million in 2015 and approxi-

mately140 million in 2016. This

industry-defying growth has con-

solidated its position as the number

three global vendor.

Huawei released P9 and Mate

9 in 2016, two flagship models

that continue Huawei’s strategy

of releasing high-performance

smartphones that combine power-

ful technology, functional design

and intuitive user experience to

win global acclaim. Global sales of

the Huawei P9 flagship series have

so far exceeded 10 million units,

making it Huawei’s first flagship

model to reach that milestone.

“Huawei was a rising star in

December 2016, an important

achievement for Chinese compa-

nies,” said Tina Lu, senior analyst

at Counterpoint Research. Com-

menting on Huawei’s aim to sell

more smartphones than Apple in

2017, Lu added, “Performance in

North America and Asian markets

will be the key. If it can build on

its strong position in Europe, Latin

America, the Middle East and

Africa, then it has a chance to ac-

complish this goal.”

Huawei has also modified

its channel strategy, growing

the total number of its offline

service stores to more than 460,

across 45 countries around the

world. The company launched its

“1,000-county plan” in China, aim-

ing to set up shops in 1,000 coun-

ties across the country. Huawei

has also established long-term and

stable partnerships with thousands

of distributors and retailers all over

the world. The global public chan-

nel as a share of revenue increased

to 71% in 2016, up 13 percentage

points from 2015. The number of

retailers offering Huawei devices

across the world also increased to

more than 70,000.

Tarun Pathak, associate direc-

tor at Counterpoint Research,

spoke highly of Huawei’s strategy,

“Huawei has gained a foothold

in the premium market with the

successful release of P9 and Mate

8 and will continue to put more

emphasis on the premium market

going forward, challenging Apple.

In 2017, we expect Huawei to reap

the reward of its offline channel

expansion strategy started in late

2015 to cover 1,000 provinces by

the end of the year.”

In the flagship P and Mate

series, Huawei collaborated with

international brands such as Leica

and Porsche Design, building

on and amplifying the Huawei

brand concept while expanding

its appeal through association

with other leaders in their fields.

These partnerships have directly

impacted brand recognition for

Huawei, winning acclaim from a

growing list of respected global

institutions. In 2016, Huawei was

included in Interbrand’s 100 Best

Global Brands for the second year,

ranking 72nd. It was also ranked

in BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable

Global Brands at number 50. This

success in branding has also been

reflected in global sales, acting

as further proof that users favor

Huawei mobile phones.

Huawei consolidated its posi-

tion as one of the world’s three

largest smartphone vendors thanks

to distinct domestic and overseas

strategies that have solidified its

advantages in some regions, while

opening new markets through its

continuous innovation and efficient


— SG